Guest post by the kind folks at A Place to Breathe Meditation Studio in Ivy. It’s not Crozet, but a lot of us pass by it every day. So to satisfy any curiosity you might have had ….
4405 Ivy Commons has housed many a thing, including a horseback riding tack shop and a gift shop. These days, instead of bridles or toys, you’ll find meditation cushions and yoga classes at A Place to Breathe Meditation Studio, or Breathe for short.
Externally, the building gives no hint of the spaciousness and calming atmosphere inside. Soft colors and natural light invite you to take a deep breath and maybe enjoy a cup of complimentary tea. A long white and green curtain separates the main studio and lobby space. While a small detail, having a soft curtain instead of a hard wall seems appropriate to a studio in which the separation of mind and body is lessened.
Off to the side, a smaller room – the meditation room – is supplied with meditation cushions, blankets, and a big cozy chair. Who said meditating couldn’t be comfortable? What is nice about this room is that it can be used at any time for free. It is perfect for those who do not have a quiet space in their home or whose schedules cannot accommodate a full class. A funny story the staff at Breathe like to share about the meditation room is the time a Brownie troupe was at the studio for an event. As soon as they walked in the door, all the little girls went straight to the meditation room and made themselves at home. That is how inviting and cozy it is!
So what exactly goes on at Breathe? They offer classes, workshops, teacher training and retreats in meditation, yoga, and other healing/relaxation methods. Charlottesville has many yoga studios, but Breathe is the first meditation studio of the area. Breathe seeks to promote meditation to people of all ages, especially beginners.
Breathe has integrated nicely with the local community. The UVA Mindfulness Center holds many Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses at Breathe and the UVA Lorna Sundberg International Center recently hosted a Nia/Kundalini Yoga event for students and community members.
They have donated to a number of schools, charity fundraisers, and non-profit organizations, and partnered with nursing homes. Reaching out to seniors is an important aspect of Breathe’s mission to make more accessible the healing benefits of meditation and yoga. They have several teachers that travel to nursing homes and retirement facilities to teach.
Breathe’s vision summed up in a few words: “We want meditation rooms to follow the Starbucks model – one on every corner!”